Many garden lovers and flower enthusiasts were dismayed last year when the New England Flower Show was canceled after 137 years. Happily, the newly formed Boston Flower and Garden Show has filled the void. Opening Wednesday and running through the weekend, the show's theme, "A Feast for the Senses," has inspired professional and amateur gardeners to present their best work.

Take heart, the blooms are back!


Many garden lovers and flower enthusiasts were dismayed last year when the New England Flower Show was canceled after 137 years. Happily, the newly formed Boston Flower and Garden Show has filled the void.


Opening Wednesday and running through the weekend, the show's theme, "A Feast for the Senses," has inspired professional and amateur gardeners to present their best work. Even bakers will showcase their appreciation of flowers in the "Garden of Cakes" exhibit.


Carolyn Weston of Marlborough is director of the show. She said the absence of a show last year disappointed many -- from visitors to tour group operators and even Boston officials.


"We wanted to re-establish the tradition," she said. "There is a fine tradition of going to the flower show, and it was worth preserving."


Mendon resident Karen O'Brien of the New England Unit of the Herb Society of America said she is excited about the flower show. "For our organization, it's part of our history." The New England Unit is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.


She said, "We have a unique perspective because we are recreating an exhibit the Herb Society did 75 years ago," a room from 1935 that represents how people used and preserved herbs for medicinal and culinary uses. The Herb Society also maintains a teaching garden at Elm Bank in Wellesley.


Preparing the flower show is a long-term project. "It's been a yearlong endeavor -- to recruit the participants, to design the show, to do the marketing, (and) pulling together speakers and programming," said Weston.


Setup began this past weekend, and Weston anticipated it will take several days to complete.


"Some things are pre-built by exhibitors," she said, and get moved in and set up by heavy equipment. There will be more than 30 landscape gardens, some done by smaller groups but others by retailers and designers.


"There are professional groups involved and passionate amateurs, garden clubs (as well)," said Weston.


There will also be 250 vendors presenting everything from packets of seeds and garden furniture to the latest tools and tricks for gardening.


And, regardless of the weather outdoors, "It's always about 72 degrees and sunny at the flower show," Weston said.


THE ESSENTIALS:


The Boston Flower & Garden Show: A Feast for the Senses runs March 24 to 28 at Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston.


Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, $10 for children 6 to 17, and free for children under 6.


For more information, visit www.thebostonflowershow.com or call 781-237-5533.